Oct 10 2007
It can be argued that having formal policy statements might help build a blogger’s credibility, and set the tone for expected behaviour. I finally got around to implementing some policies this week - something that I started about two months ago! Here’s the rationale behind each:
Obviously disclosure is a large part of any blogger’s credibility. Whilst I don’t have any paid advertising on this site, I did want to officially state my related business activities, that could affect my attitude and opinions. Generally if I write about something that I think I could be biased about, I will (continue to) state it in my posts.
I also wanted to make the point obvious that when I write about a website or service, it is not because I am receiving payment or favour for doing so, that it is merely something that interests me.
My disclosure policy was modelled on this disclosure policy.
Recent discussion on “comments are king” dictated that I really did need to formalise a comments policy. I think it lets visitors know the “rules” - what is welcomed and what isn’t (it’s my blog and I’ll moderate if I want to…) .
Lorelle’s “does your blog have a comments policy?” post at Blog Herald provided a solid outline.
If the issue of people stealing your content doesn’t bother you, be sure and mark your website or blog accordingly with a copyright tag that says “help yourself”. Display a copyright notice, like one from Creative Commons, that says “free for the taking”.
If it does bother you, you can display a copyright policy notice to inform your readers that your content is yours - don’t touch. Or you can choose another copyright policy that says something between. Check out all the different copyright options at Creative Commons. They also feature small logos, like the one in the sidebar here, which designates which rights users have to use your content.
I checked out the Creative Commons options, but none of them really seemed to fit, so I just wrote a little blurb about what I consider acceptable (and this is really just basic blog etiquette).
Probably a bit sad that we feel the need to issue a disclaimer. I don’t know how much weight it would hold in court, but I thought I’d record as a contingency. Again Lorelle at Blog Herald has a good writing a blog disclaimer outline.
Have you felt the need to formalise any policies on your blog?